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The Amazing Bud Powell Vol. 1 [TrackList follows] – Capitol/EMI/Chrysalis/Blue Note mono vinyl

The Amazing Bud Powell Vol. 1 [TrackList follows] – Capitol/EMI/Chrysalis/Blue Note mono 1503 vinyl (remastered) *****:

(Bud Powell – piano; Fats Navarro; Sonny Rollins; Roy Haynes; Max Roach)

Powell was probably the No. 1 jazz pianist in bebop, right up there with Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson and the rest. He is still underappreciated for the innovative piano language which he created, and his messed-up life didn’t help advance his place in jazz. This LP shows Powell at his best, although I can’t see the advantage of remastering and offering this album on vinyl in addition to CD. The CD versions are fine, though be advised they have a completely different tracklist. The big advantage of CDs over vinyl has always been in the area of piano music, which is perfectly paced and accurate, unlike vinyl, even if your turntable is perfectly accurate. There is also a volume 2 on CD, but both volume 1 & 2 would have fit on a single CD. [The Amazon link is to the original Blue Note vinyl, not the recently remastered one. Probably little difference in sound. This is not in any enhanced fidelity, so I will not put it in the Hi-Res section…Ed.]

Alternate takes of the same tune tend to get my goat, and I wish labels would put them at the end of the recordings rather than at the beginning. However, I can’t complain about the three takes of Powell’s own “Un Poco Loco” at the start of Side 1 of this LP. Each one has quite different solos, all from the brilliant imagination of Powell. The second one gets the opening more exciting, but sort of falls down on the conclusion, while on the third take he gets it all perfect. He’s not solo, but playing as a trio with Navarro and Rollins. There are also two different takes of “A Night in Tunisia,” both quite different from one another. There’s another take of “Ornithology” on the vinyl Volume 2 but no other alternate takes. Both albums sport the original notes by Leonard Feather, and on the LP versions they are actually readable.

TrackList:

Un Poco Loco (1st Take)
Un Poco Loco (2nd Take)
Un Poco Loco
Dance Of The Infidels
52nd Street Theme
It Could Happen to You (Alternate Master)
A Night in Tunisia (Alternate Master)
A Night in Tunisia
Wail
Ornithology
Bouncing With Bud
Parisian Thoroughfare

—John Henry

 

 

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